Day -1:Arrive at Chennai (Madras) Airport / Railway Station meet and transfer to your hotel. If time permits half day sightseeing of Chennai covering Fort St.George & Fort Museum, Kapaleeswara Temple and Marina Beach. Stay at Chennai
After breakfast day excursion to Kanchipuram and Mahabalipura and back to Chennai. Lunch will be enroute. Stay at Madras
KANCHIPURAM. The history says in the 3rd century AD the great Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka has established Once the capital of Pallava dynasty between 6th & 8th Century, Known as the golden town of thousand temples, most of them are more than 10 centuries old and the most sacred pilgrim centre for Hindus. The great Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka had established a Buddist centre. Between the 6th & 8th centuries the Pallava dynasty ruled here with Kanchipuram as capital. The places to see are Kailasanatha Temple (Shiva) 7th Century, Sri Ekambaranathar Temple (Shiva), Kamakshi Amman Temple (Parvathi), Vaikunta Perumal Temple etc. Its also famous for Silk products.
MAHABALIPURAM. An open-air museum of sculpture in living rock with few parallels in the world. It was the second capital and seaport of the Pallava Kings of Kanchipuram. Narasimha Varman II later rebuilt the famous shore temple built around 7th century. Arjun's Penance - This relief carving on the face of a huge 30 metres long and 12 meters high rock is divided by perpendicular fissure, which is skillfully encompassed into the sculpture. Mandapams (pillared pavilions in front of temples), Ganesh Ratha.
After breakfast day excursion to Tanjore and back to Trichy. Lunch at Tanjore. Stay at Trichy
TANJORE. Capital of the powerful Chola dynasty, built most of the 93 odd temples here. Although they were great patrons of arts and lavished their wealth on building temple and the biggest temple is called "Brihadishwara Temple. This 66 meter tall tower can be observed from miles around. Inside the temple the Archaeological Museum has collections of sculptures and photographs that show the temple before restoration along with chart and maps. Thanjavur palace, art gallery & library are the other attractions of Tanjore. The famous Tanjore painting combination of raised and painted surfaces are also seen in an around, the lord Krishna in white painted are only seen here rather than blue black.
After breakfast half day sightseeing of Trichy. Later drive to Madurai. Stay at Madurai for two nights.
TRICHY. Once a bastion of the Chola dynasty centuries before Christ, it gained eminence under the Nayaks of Madurai, who built the fort and temple. It's the fourth largest city of Tamil Nadu. Trich's landmark monument is Rock fort, which is 83 meters high up on a rocky out growth rising abruptly from the surrounding plains and located in the centre of the town. There are two main temples one Sri Thayumanaswamy temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Half way to the top, another temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha -Vinayaka. The 437 steps stiff climb stone cut steps but well worth it to see.
SRIRANGAM. Located 3 km from Trichy on an island called Srirangam on the cauvery river fascinating temple complex built in 10th century dedicated to Lord Vishnu called Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, inside 21 gopurams which is one of the largest in India.
After breakfast half day sightseeing of Madurai covering the temple, palace and temple tank. Rest of the day free in the market for shopping or leisure at hotel. Stay at Madurai.
MADURAI. One of the South India's oldest cities, and has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for centuries situated on the banks of Vaigai River. Madurai's main attraction is Sri Meenakshi Temple in the heart of old town, designed by Viswanatha Nayak in 1560 was built during the reign of Tirmalai Nayak (1623-1655 AD) dedicated to goddess Meenakshi. The another attraction is the evening ceremony where, lord Shiva was carried to the bed chamber of God Parvathi (Meenakshi) which is considered as a holy ceremony. Tirumalainayak Palace which was built in the Indo - Saracenic style architecture in the year 1636 by the ruler whose name is bears. Tirmalai Nayak which is located near the temple. Today, only the entrance gate, main hall and dance hall remain but these are well worth seeing. The rectangular courtyard known as the Swargavillasam or the "Celestial Pavilion" and the massive stone pillars that supports the 20m high roof bear mute witness to the original grandeur of this palace regarded as one of the finest secular monuments in South India.
After breakfast drive to Thekkady where you will cross the state boundary and enter into Kerala State ( 4 Hrs drive). After noon spice plantation tour to see all the spices at one place. Evening Boat ride at Periyar lake to witness the wildlife.
THEKKADY. The most popular wildlife sanctuary in south India (Periyar wildlife sanctuary) covering an area of 777 sq km, with 26 sq km artificial lake created by the British is 1895. Wild animals like tiger, bison sambar, antelopes and around 700 elephants. To see the wildlife the best way by boat and its starts from 7 AM and the last one at 4PM duration of every two hours. Apart from boating it's the best place for leisure treks.
SPICES GARDENS. Most of the gardens are the part of personal properties of the local people; local guides will explain you about the plantation. Cardamom is the major crop in an around.
After breakfast drive to Munnar for two nights stay. Rest of the day at leisure. Stay at Munnar.
MUNNAR. The tiny hill town called, Munnar is located 1542 Mts. above the sea level. Formerly know as the "HIGH RANGE OF TRAVANCORE". Beyond the tea estates are rich tropical forests that are the home to an assortment of wildlife including the Niligiri Tahr, the rare mountings goat saved from the brink of extinction, Nilgiri Langur, Sambar, Gaur, Elephant and lion tailed Macaques.
After breakfast drive to Cochin (4 Hrs drive). After lunch half day sightseeing of Cochin covering Jewish Synagogue built in 1568 A.D. (Closed on Saturday), Dutch Palace built in 1555 A.D. (Closed on Friday), St.Francis church built in 1510 A.D. by Portuguese and Chinese fishing nets (Cheena Vala in Malayalam). Evening watch Kathakali Dance, the dance drama of Kerala at the center.
COCHIN / KOCHI. One of the most intriguing cities, here you can see the oldest church and the oldest surviving Jewish settlement and neighborhood in India. The ancient temples, churches and the 16th century synagogue in this place are of the special interest to the archaeologists and historians.
Morning . Spend sometime in cochin for shopping After noon . drive to Kumarakom to spend the most famous backwater holidays. On arrival check into any one of the backwater resorts for 2 nights stay. Stay at Kumarakom.
KUMARAKOM. Sleepy little village located 14 Kms away from the Kottayam town on vembanad lake, which is ideal for boating, fishing, bird watching at the bird sanctuary, the migratory birds like Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal are seen here.
Full day at leisure or enjoy backwater ride, or visit the bird sanctuary, or visit the town to see Thirunakkara Shiva Temple (Well known for its traditional Sanskrit drama, Kootiattam), Cheriyapally & Valiyapally (Syrian Christian Churches) etc. Stay at Kumarakom.
After breakfast transfer to Kottayam railway station to catch train to Tellicherry the train depart by 9 Am and will reach by evening (8 Hrs journey) for 2 nights Home stay. Transfer to private home. Rest of the day free. Stay at Tellicherry.
TELICHERRY. Small town located in Cannanore district which is 77 Kms from Calicut. The English East India Company established its settlement on the Malabar Coast in 1683. The Tellicherry fort was built in the early 18th century. The nearest and the most attracted place is Sree Muthappan Temple at Parassinikadavu which is 40 Kms north of Telicherry and famous for the Muthappan Theyyam. It's the only place in Kerala where theyyam the ritual dance form of North Kerala is performed daily. The most important ritualistic performing folk art is known as "THEYYAM" or " THIRA". In artistry, symbolism and spectacle, it is one of the most outstanding folk arts of Kerala. This elaborate and painstaking art form demands long hours of labour at a stretch for its performance with a minimum of 10 backstage artists for one performer.
After breakfast drive to Lakkadi in Wayanad (140 Kms from Telicherry) for 2 nights stay in the jungles resort in Vytiri. Stay at Vytiri
LAKKADI. Is a place of great scenic beauty with picturesque hills, streams and luxuriant vegetation, one of highest location in Wayand, and registered the second highest degree of rainfall in the world. Pookote lake, the natural fresh water lake, very wide and deep, is one of the rare reservoirs of water in Waynad. In Ambukuthi hills the two Edakkal caves, natural rock cut - out formations, formed by large split in a huge rock roofed over by the other large rocks. These caves have been made famous world-wide for their ancient carvings and pictorial wall inscriptions of human and animal figures with peculiar head- dresses and swastik forms and symbols. The Glass Temple of Kottamunda which is located 20 Kms from Lakkkadi located on the slope of Vellarimala. The mirrors inside the temple walls reflect in thousands of beautiful image of patterns of the icons in the temple sanctum sanctorum.
After breakfast drive to Calicut (Kozikode) 2 hrs drive. On arrival check in to backwater resort for a night. After noon visit the Kappad . Vasco-da-gama set foot on the sands of Kappad beach on 27th May of 1498 A.D. Pazhassi Raja Museum and Art gallery display of ancient mural paintings, antique brozes and old coins as well as models of temples, megalithic mouments lik dolmonoid cysts and umbrella stones. The art gallery contains paintings of Raja Ravi Varma. The major collections are at Sri Chitra Art Gallery at Trivandrum.
CALICUT. Kozhikode also known as Calicut is famous in history as the capital of the Zamorin Rajas. It was one of the great ports on the west coast and is a port of call for cargo streamers even today. 11 Kms drive from Calicut reach at Beypore, is a small coastal town for centuries as a ship building centre and still famous for its country crafts called "URDU" built by the traditional shipbuilders known as Khalasis.
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